Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.
Clinton and Trump get ready to rumble - but do the debates actually matter? (The Conversation) It's possible that some voters may in fact change their minds based on what they see in the two's only on-camera encounters. And yet, barring a true disaster or devastating triumph, it's unlikely that anything the candidates say or do will make much difference to the overall result. This might not seem all that surprising for these two candidates in particular. Leaving aside how long they've both been in public life, social media and the 24-hour news cycle have put Clinton and Trump under incredible scrutiny ever since they announced their respective candidacies - and their every sentence and gesture has already been analyzed in the greatest detail. The author points out that in presidential debates it is not so much what a candidate says but how he/she says it and how they look. The example is given of the 1960 debate between Kennedy and Nixon where analysts felt the two candidates were quite even by the appearances of the candidates:
Notoriously, television viewers responded very favourably to Kennedy's film-star good looks, but were turned off by Nixon, who refused to wear make-up and looked sweaty and uncomfortable under the studio lights. In contrast, those who listened on the radio believed that Nixon had come out on top. It seems that viewers saw Kennedy as more "presidential" than Nixon, especially given his calmness under pressure. Kennedy did work hard to exploit some of Nixon's weaknesses on policy, but in the end, that turned out not to be the point.
Fed Seeks Aggressive Limit on Wall Street Commodity Holdings (Bloomberg) Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s and Morgan Stanley's sometimes lucrative romance with metals, coal and oil could become prohibitively expensive under a proposed rule released Friday by the Federal Reserve. The long-awaited regulation would require banks to put up much more capital to support investments in physical commodities, restrict involvement with power plants and limit the amount of trading banks can do. While the Fed doesn't have the power to sever banks' ties to physical commodities, it is seeking massive capital increases for the activities -- especially at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which have special legal exemptions to stay in those businesses. Fed officials estimated that the rule would mean about $4 billion in additional capital for the industry's current level of investment, though Wall Street has been steadily backing away.
Treasury Market's Biggest Buyers Are Selling as Never Before (Bloomberg) They've long been one of the most reliable sources of demand for U.S. government debt. But these days, foreign central banks have become yet another worry for investors in the world's most important bond market. Holders like China and Japan have culled their stakes in Treasuries for three consecutive quarters, the most sustained pullback on record, based on the Federal Reserve's official custodial holdings. The decline has accelerated in the past three months, coinciding with the recent backup in U.S. bond yields.
Why I Switched My Endorsement from Clinton to Trump (Dilbert by Scott Adams) Hat tip to LG. Scott Adams, who has been praising Trump for over a year, has found a pretense to change his endorsement from "Crooked Hillary" to "Great Donald". It is Hillary's proposed increase in estate taxes that he cites for his primary reason for changing.
Finance Is Ruining America (The Atlantic) Finance is an extractive process which leaves destitution in its wake when it is not used for creation of the means of production of goods and services, as well as the employment of people to buy them. This article illustrates how that has led to the destruction of community balance in southeastern Connecticut.
Russia accused of war crimes in Syria at UN security council session (The Guardian) Russia has been directly and repeatedly accused of war crimes at the UN security council in an unusually blunt session, as hopes of any form of ceasefire were flattened by the scale and ferocity of the Syrian regime's assault on eastern Aleppo. The war crimes accusations centered on the widespread use of bunker-busting and incendiary bombs on the 275,000 civilians living in the rebel-held east of the city, weapons that Moscow's accusers say were dropped by Russian aircraft. Matthew Rycroft, the UK ambassador to the UN said during the emergency security council session on Syria on Sunday:
"Bunker-busting bombs, more suited to destroying military installations, are now destroying homes, decimating bomb shelters, crippling, maiming, killing dozens, if not hundreds."
Saudi Arabia Injects $5.3 Billion in Bank System Amid Crunch (Bloomberg) Saudi Arabia's central bank stepped up efforts to support lenders in the Arab world's biggest economy as they grapple with the effects of low oil prices. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, as the central bank is known, said it decided to give banks about 20 billion riyals ($5.3 billion) in the form of time deposits "on behalf of government entities". It's also introducing seven-day and 28-day repurchase agreements, as part of its "supportive monetary policy". The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system, squeezing domestic liquidity.
Why China is caught in India-Pakistan crossfire (South China Morning Post) India is trying to pressure China to "rein in" Pakistan after the recent attacks in Kashmir which India says were carried out by terrorists sheltered by Pakistan.
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